Gabriel Escobar, the U.S.'s special envoy for the Western Balkans, said on Jan. 20 that he had had a very constructive meeting in Belgrade with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, with whom he discussed a Franco-German proposal for addressing the Kosovo issue, and that the next meeting between Serbia's and Kosovo's negotiators in Brussels could take place quite soon.
Escobar said in a comment for the Voice of America (VoA) that Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti “doesn’t need to agree” to the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities, because “Kosovo already did.” When asked if the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue would be restarted soon, Escobar said that “first of all, it never stopped,” but “the challenge is that it became an instrument for crisis management.”
“We want to get it back to the strategic level based on the Franco-German proposal. We believe that the proposal is very good. The United States supports it fully, and we want it to be a good solution for both countries. In other words, we want it to open a European perspective for both countries, and to open opportunities for closer cooperation not only with Europe, but also the region and the U.S.,” the U.S. envoy said.
Escobar said that the international community wanted the Kosovo prime minister to establish the Community, underlining that it was part of the agreement that was going to be implemented. “One person and one party cannot give up the implementation of legally binding clauses, that’s a fact. We will do it, I will do it by finding partners – there are many people who would like to see a better relationship between the Serbs in the north and the rest of the country,” Escobar said.
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